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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day022.05

Archive/File: people/i/irving.david/libel.suit/transcripts/day022.05
Last-Modified: 2000/07/24

MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let him continue.  I see which way he is
going.  That is on the assumption it is 2 metres deep, the
arithmetic is right.
MR IRVING:  Yes.  Would you agree that the bodies were not left
exposed, that there was a certain amount of back fill done
A.Yes, if you wish.
Q.So, in other words, 2 metres of this hypothetical pit
would not be used.  But let us assume that it was used and
let us assume that the walls went straight down, they did
not slope inwards, as you can see in the photograph which
is before you, so there we would have 150 cubic metres,
and you can get about 10 bodies to a cubic metre if you do

.  P-38

a calculation with which I will not bother you.  So how
many bodies would be in that pit, just on that rough order
of magnitude?
A.You say this all in your footnote, "It would have held 1
or 2,000 victims each", that is what you say, but it is
entirely hypothetical.  There is a number of "ifs" in that
question ----
Q.Just one "if"?
A.--- if that is the question you were asking.  It is
entirely hypothetical.  We do not know how deep this pit was.
Q.So if it was 2 metres deep and if it had straight sides
and if there was no back fill ----
A.That is three "ifs", Mr Irving.
Q.--- would you stop interrupting -- you would get 1,500
bodies into that pit, is that right?
Q.So if it was another metre deep, you would get another 750
in, so you can do an order of magnitude calculation, can you?
A.On the basis of those four "ifs", yes, you can do any
calculation you like.
Q.So you can do a ball park calculation of two or three pits
of that kind of size and magnitude would hold of the order
of, say, three to 7,000 bodies?
A.Yes, on the basis of those four hypotheticals, yes.

.  P-39

Q.Did you bother to do such a check sum before you criticised me?
A.I did not know how deep the pits were, Mr Irving.  My
criticism is that there is no evidence of the depth of the
pits.  You do not provide any.  You simply make all these
if, if, if assumptions and then somehow treat them as facts.
Q.Do you accept that when you are writing history and you
cannot get all these documents on hand, occasionally you
have to make common sense calculations and deductions?
A.This is not common sense, Mr Irving.  This is a systematic
attempt to undermine the figure given of 27,800 Jews,
suggesting that this is too large.  This is typical of
your minimisation of the statistics of the numbers of Jews
killed in any number of instances.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Right.  On to the next point, Mr Irving.  I
think we have exhausted that.
MR IRVING:  My Lord, I just say, you do accept that I had a
document which stated the figure of 5,000, and that it is
within the order of magnitude that the pits would allow?
Q.When you write books, Professor, just as an after thought,
do you ever bother to look at photographic evidence like that?
A.I look at photographic evidence, yes.
Q.My Lord, we now come to the Himmler telephone notes.  We

.  P-40

have some brief after thoughts.  November 30th and
December 1st.  We are on page 351 ----
A.If I can just tidy my desk?
Q.While you are tidying, I can ask you, do you remember
yesterday saying that we had, of course, no evidence
whatsoever that Himmler telephoned Heydrich.  It could
easily have been the other way round, could it not?
A.I think that is a point you yourself made, Mr Irving,
about this telephone log.  It does not say who
Q.Was this, in fact, the point you made because I am
the questions.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Does it matter?  Does it matter in the
slightest?  I mean, tell me if it does.
MR IRVING:  Will you agree that on page 351 you on more
one occasion state, as a matter of fact, that Himmler
telephoned Heydrich?
A.Yes, that is an after thought I had on reconsidering
re-reading this suddenly.  As a result of what you
yourself said, and you pointed out that one did not
who was phoning whom and I took that on board.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Can you explain very briefly why it
one way or the other?
A.It is additional uncertainty.  The point at issue
here, my
Lord, as you know, is that Mr Irving has on a number
occasions claimed that this is a Hitler order given by

.  P-41

Hitler to Himmler to transmit then to Heydrich and
Q.Well, you have got to get the link between Hitler and
A.It is the link between Hitler and Himmler which has
been established, and this is a phone log in which
is some uncertainty which I think a responsible
has to point out.  That is all.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Yes, no, I follow why it could be of some
marginal significance.
A.It is not hugely important.
MR IRVING:  You say that this is not hugely important?
A.The vital question is the link between Hitler and
plus, of course, your misrepresentation in a number of
your publications of the contents of the message.
Q.Will you accept that this document is a significant
document or is it totally unimportant in the flow of
A.No, it is a significant document.
Q.It is a significant document.  Who first found it and
first used it?  Was it a revisionist?
A.I do not think you described yourself as a revisionist
then, Mr Irving.
Q.Was it a historian on whom you have generally looked
throughout the last few days?
A.Mr Irving, I have not at any point disputed the fact

.  P-42

you have discovered large numbers of documents.
Q.Did anybody in the world bother to read those
notes before I did?
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Mr Irving, everybody accepts you deserve
credit for not only uncovering this document but a
many others as well?
A.It is what you do with them that is the problem.
MR IRVING:  You mean I make use of them?  Is that is the
A.No, you misuse them .
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Let us get to the point.
MR IRVING:  Will you look at the Peter Witte book, the
A.Could I have a copy, please?
Q.If mine has not been nicked, then I will lend you
Here we are.  I say that with----
A.Will you not need it yourself?
Q.I know most of these documents off by heart.
A.Mr Rampton, I think Mr Irving should have a copy,
Q.April 20th 1942.
MR RAMPTON:  If you do not mind, I will keep mine.
MR IRVING:  April 20th 1942.
A.Where are we?
Q.It is a horribly expensive book.  It is over 100, I
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  That explains why I do not have one, does

.  P-43

MR IRVING:April 20th 1942.  While you are looking for
what significance did the date of April 20th have?
A.It is Hitler's birthday.
Q.Adolf Hitler's birth date.  If Himmler was visiting
on that occasion, as he was, if he was at the
Hitler's headquarters, is it likely he would have said
more than just, "happy birthday Mein Fuhrer, many
A.It says here that he goes to see Hitler at 12.30 and
half past one he brings him the congratulations of the
SS.  Then at half past two he has a kind of, I guess,
birthday lunch.
Q.Does he telephone Heydrich on that day?
A.At 12 o'clock, yes.
Q.Is one of the references in that telephone message
Vernichtung der Zigeuner"?
A.Yes it is.
Q.What does that translate into English?
A."No annihilation of the gypsies".
Q.Does that look like murder in that connection?
A.No.  Clearly, they have been considering killing the
gypsies, but they are not clear about whether all the
gypsies should be killed.  So he is ordering that they
should not be.
Q.Not clear?  If somebody says "keine Vernichtung der
Zigeuner", that seems pretty clear to me that an order

.  P-44

being given that gypsies are not to be killed.  Would
agree?  If that is the word, "vernichtung", in that
A.The Nazis of course divided the gypsies into mixed
gypsies, who were the majority, and what they regarded
pure bred gypsies, who were in a small minority, and
reasons of his rather strange interest in racial
Himmler wanted to keep the pure bred gypsies alive to
subject them to investigation.
Q.Is there any indication of those considerations in
telephone call? Is there any reference to pure bred
gypsies, or half-bred gypsies, or is it just to
A.Well, as the footnote explains, 5,000 gypsies had
recently, just before this telephone conversation,
killed in the woods in Chelmno, and it quotes an order
Himmler, which is preserved in the Moscow archives,
gypsies who were settled should not be proceeded
Of course, the fact is that the Nazis did kill very,
large numbers of gypsies in the Second World War in
Auschwitz and elsewhere.  They are the one racial
apart from the Jews, who suffered this kinds of
Q.So, although what appears to have been a clear order
to kill the gypsies was issued by somebody at Hitler's
headquarters on April 20th 1942, the Nazis killed
numbers of gypsies?
A.We do not know how this was followed up, and we do not
know precisely which gypsies this referred to.

.  P-45

Q.The follow up appears to have been that large numbers
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Are we not wandering miles away?  I am
to keep interrupting, but we started off on 30th
MR IRVING:  We have moved on.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Altogether?
MR IRVING:  I think so, yes, my Lord.  We dealt with it at
length yesterday.
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  All right.
MR IRVING:  That was an afterthought, as I said.  We have
moved on.  I do not know if your Lordship considers
item of relevance?
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  I am not quite sure where we are going.
you could help me?
MR IRVING:  This is one  of the chain, actually.  This
I consider to be one of the chain of Hitler----
MR JUSTICE GRAY:  Your argument is that, because there was
order, and you say emanates from Hitler, that the
should not be killed, that indicates a concern also
the Jews?  I am not belittling the argument but that
what it is?
MR IRVING:  It is a high carat, a 22 carat piece of
if I can put it like that, written in the handwriting
the mass murderer himself, Heinrich Himmler, in
headquarters, an order from somebody else to him.

.  P-46

A.Sorry, Mr Irving.  Can I just quote this diary here?
"12 o'clock, telephone with Heydrich.  Visit to
so on, Poles, keine vernichtung der Zigeuner, no
annihilation of the gypsies".  That is 12 o'clock.
travel to Hitler's headquarters, Fuhrerhauptquartier,
12.30".  Underneath that there is a line that says
that is the Reichsfuhrer SS, that is Himmler, Mein
with the Fuhrer.  So the telephone conversation with
Heydrich which says, "keine vernichtung der Zigeuner",
happened half an hour before Himmler even set off to
MR IRVING:  Pure chance then that this is on that day,
20th, and there is no connection at all therefore in
opinion with Adolf Hitler or the Fuhrer's
This is just Himmler suddenly having had a brainstorm,
saying, "let us not kill the gypsies"?

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